Postgraduate Scholarship Opportunity - Preventing Falls in a High Risk, Vision Impaired Population through Specialist Orientation and Mobility Services – the PLaTFORM study
The project will involve the PLaTFORM study, funded by an NHMRC Project Grant (2016-2019). Falls incur over $1 billion in treatment, disability, lost output and mortality each year. People with poor vision are at up to 8 times increased risk of falls. The vulnerability to fall related injury and the large and increasing number of older people with vision loss (40% of those aged 85+) make falls prevention in this sector a critical public health issue. Though previous research suggests the greatest potential for falls prevention is through rehabilitation of posture and balance, this has not been successfully translated in this high-risk demographic. Our pilot work suggests that the Lifestyle approach to reducing Falls through Exercise (LiFE) improves physical function, may reduce falls in older people with vision impairment, and can be delivered through specialist orientation and mobility instructors. This program can also realize other imperative benefits for older people through improved mobility. An RCT is planned to evaluate the LiFE program in older people with visual impairment in NSW/ACT in collaboration with Guide Dogs Association NSW/ACT, a leading community service organisation for people with vision impairments. This PhD project will involve evaluations of the effectiveness and implementation of the LiFE program in this setting.
Type of career: Postgraduate opportunities
Application close date: 14/02/2016